On the heels of their discontinuation of all peel apart instant pack film, in September, Fujifilm announced that Instax Mini film would become available in b&w and I was quick to buy some as soon as it hit the market last week!
For the younger kids shooting Instax, Fuji Instax Monochrome, removing color & increasing cost may not seem like a good or useful thing. My 4 year old said she was happy for me but she prefers color. For those of us film photogs who shoot professional formats and use Instax as a creative release, the ability to shoot in b&w offers more avenues of fun and self-expression. Importantly, the arrival of Instax Monochrome, as as well as Instax black frame, signals Fuji’s interest in appealing to serious photographers.
Among the first chorus of shortcomings I have heard expressed in the film forums were that Instax Monochrome has not been released in the Wide format as well as more desire for a fully manual Instax body with faster, better performing optics. I couldn’t agree more. But in the meantime, let’s keep pushing to sure up Fuji’s line by enjoying this awesome new offering!
When I went to B&H last week to order my first batch of Monochrome, I was shocked to see that they listed it as having been discontinued. Luckily, I found it on Amazon and read that it was simply on backorder at B&H. Since this confusion, B&H has not only listed it as coming soon but they are competing strongly with Amazon by offering 10 shot packs for just $9.99. B&H currently sells color Instax Mini 10 shot packs for $7.95. I also have not seen any deals for buying in bulk yet. But it looks as though Monochrome will cost a bit more than color.
Fuji Instax Mini Monochrome film is rated at 800 ISO just like their color film. The suggested temperature range in which to use the film is still 41-104°F and of course the size of the film remains identical at 2.4 x 1.8″ image area. I have not done any serious tests but I did not see any noticeable difference in processing time from color Instax.
I shot around 25 shots in my first session using my Fuji Instax 90 Neo Classic. Just some preliminary subjects around my house. Have a look!
While these prints developed, I could see faint traces of reds, greens and maybe blue but after the film sat for maybe 10 minutes and was fully processed, the blacks got pretty rich and any hues dissipated. I was very curious if Instax Monochrome would be a true b&w because it’s an integral instant film and Impossible Project b&w’s integral instant films often have a hint of sepia to them.
I scanned the Instax using my trusty Epson V500 in 48 bit color. I have not edited the images or desaturated them since coming off the scanner so as to show any hues of color in them. As you can probably see they are true black and white and look as you’d expect black and white Instax to look, no surprises.
Contrast is pretty “normal”, not overly tonal but not dramatically contrasty either. Right about in the middle. Both with and without flash as well as in sunlight. A yellow or orange filter might be a nice new accessory for Fuji to introduce (or just make one yourself.)
Let me know what you think of the new Monochrome by Instax. Have you tried it? Are you going to try it? Are you holding out for Monochrome Wide? Thanks for reading!